September, the month of separations!

For some reason September sees a peak in the number of people separating from their partners. It is believed that one of the reasons is that a couple have been on holiday and spent more time together which serves to highlight their differences.
Whatever the reason, you do not need to panic. If you seek legal advice you will have all of the facts that you need at an early stage. Many client’s leave our office after their first appointment with a great sense of relief. Emmersons Solicitors Family Law Team have years of experience. We are members of The Law Society Family Law Panel and Jacqueline Emmerson, our senior partner, is a Collaborative Family lawyer. With all of our experience we are able to dispel the myths surrounding separation. Advice given by your friends in the pub is no substitute for legal advice.
The usual way to approach matters is to gather all of your financial information eg. How much is your home worth, how much is left to pay on the mortgage, do you have other savings and investments, and do you have debt?
The next stage is to swap both parties financial information. At that stage it may be very easy to negotiate a settlement. If matters are more complicated then you could opt to attend meetings with your ex-partner and both solicitors. This can be a very speedy method of filling in gaps in financial information. It is often possible in a first meeting to narrow many issues still in dispute.
If you don’ want to come face to face with your ex-partner you can still attend a meeting whereby the solicitors meet in a room and use separate rooms to see each of their clients.
If you feel that you could both negotiate in an attempt to avoid court proceedings then Collaborative Family Law could be the answer. This process involves meetings as above. However, you both sign to say that you are committed to the process. The idea is to make you both work harder to find solutions that will avoid the adversarial nature of court proceedings. Clients usually comment that they feel more in control of their separation using Collaborative Law.
Looking at the processes above should help you to see how straightforward matters can be. You don’t have to worry about the law; your solicitor is there to guide you through the legal complexities allowing you to concentrate on moving forward.

Collaborative Law makes sense

Clearly, separating from a partner can be a traumatic experience.

Some clients are willing to take part in a round table discussion (sometimes referred to as mediation) to resolve their differences.

In other situations the hurt felt by one or both parties is so strong that the support of a lawyer is required. The simplest method of utilising a lawyer is to sign up to a collaborative law resolution process. Often this approach can also be cheaper than the traditional litigation approach.

What can drag out the process is where one party for whatever reason is not willing to be collaborative and wants their pound of flesh. Unfortunately there are lawyers who promote such behaviour, even when they are members of organisations such as Resolution.

At Emmersons we work to resolve issues amicably and cost effectively if at all possible.

If you live in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear or County Durham then why not call in to see us or email us at

If you live overseas and you are looking to divorce in England or Wales then we can advise you too. Contact

You can get more information from our webite

Divorce or separation or dissolution does not have to be like the War of the Roses. Emmersons will help you separate in a friendlier way.